How can I make my place pay?

Discussion in 'General chat' started by kerrip, Feb 15, 2010.

  1. kerrip

    kerrip Junior Member

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    Hello

    We are in the process of buying our new place. It is 147 acres in Gippsland Victoria. It has been deserted for the last 2 or 3 years and so the bush is slowly taking it back. There are heaps of gums, banksias, melaleucas and bracken. There isn't heaps of pasture but some grassy areas. There is a wetlands area (that doesn't look like has been wet for ages) that has some sort of native grass growing. There is 4 large dams and a few scattered water holes.

    Our aim is to be able to live here and hopefully not be totally dependent on outside employment. We will have a small mortgage, fuel costs (generator, vehicles and tools) rates, telephone and internet, clothes and food items etc that will need to be paid for.

    So my question is......

    What would you suggest? How would you make some money from the place? Any ideas?

    Thanks

    Kerri
     
  2. kimbo.parker

    kimbo.parker Junior Member

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    throw out the old thiking

    many ideas have i; the trick will be to find one that suits you guys; however, your 147 is big like my 135....and at this level....entire rural locations....the ideas 'get framed' by the scale of the playpen......as long as you hold title to that physical space.....you are truly set.
    i doubt you could starve or die of thirst,,,,but i figure you are not aiming for run and hide,,,,probably want some cash independence, membership of the country club and a bit of opulence here and there....

    my advice gets thin in this realm.

    147 ac. nice,,,fat rainfall,,,dams in etc...

    the first thing to do is get that bit of permaculture bullshit on 'zones' ( 0 to 5 ) and know for sure 100%,,,that stuff does not apply....it can mess things up big time.

    on your place the dwelling area may not be near the 'food' area, the woodlot, the orchard, the wildlife reserve. the aquaculture.........etc....they have their 'best' place somewhere on your acres.........proximity to your back door is irrelevant.......zones are bullshit on this scale of 'reality'.

    things go where things work or things are needed.........you're in for some serious walking around......donkey, horse, motorbike, at least a farm ute, tractor?.

    on making money; you are asking for something to grow?....that sniffs of primary production and you know how much it sucks do you....it sucks.
    there is a really clever way for easy money, using the place, that i think may appeal to you....

    but i'm not whipping that baby out here.....i shall pm you the guts of this idea.....( this knowledge was hardwon, took years and people went down in the process )
    when the sight of you in "PermaCrazies" reminds me....;)

    cheers,
    kimbo :)
     
  3. kerrip

    kerrip Junior Member

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    Hi Kimbo

    Indepedence is what we want. Opulance hmmmmm a bit relative I guess. My "opulent" needs will be met by a wood burning stove and the purchase of a tractor. (okay, I may change this down the track to include a brand new trailer)

    Yes I have figured out that the permaculture zoning cannot really apply to the place, but many permaculture principals can. And yes the walking is probably going to kill me, so we will need to think about this one.

    I take it on board about primary producing sucks. I don't think the land in its present state will manage herds of beef (couldn't afford them even if it could). I was thinking of starting of a nice little flock of damara sheep. But I think they will produce food for us and maybe some pocket money. Growing veges and selling them will also produce pocket money and there is a lot of competition at the farmers markets.

    I have an idea of growing a 'crop' of wattle trees for the bush tucker market. I wonder if that is a viable option?

    I have some other ideas, but am wanting to hear from others. I am waiting with baited breathe to find out what your ideas are, Kimbo.

    Catchya

    Kerri
     
  4. kimbo.parker

    kimbo.parker Junior Member

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    unbait your breathe,

    good luck 'selling your surplus'............this is permaboutique malarky.

    olives, grapes, damara sheep, miniature goats, alpaccas,wattle seed, what ever you think of,,,,,because that is whatever they think of,,,,and if there was a qiuid in it,,,they're aint
    now,,,kind of like an exotic particle that disappers the minute you look at it....

    if you want quid enough to compromise your very home and food production for it....do FIFO as a cleaner, and leave the entire place uncorrupted by the money imperatives.
    don't do profit.
    or if you do profit/ money ; take it offsite so that 147 ac stands pure in a world where nothing is that pure; except maybe my place, and yours?

    or send 'the profit' so far into the future that is does not mess with the present or tomorrow.....ie forest the lot but some paddocks.
    i've not finished, be back later
     
  5. kimbo.parker

    kimbo.parker Junior Member

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    just musings and mutterings

    i just went for a spin around the desert; and got to thinking that my advice a decade in is not appropriate for anyone....in the end it was the journey that mattered....finding out all the things that did not work meant trying everything......this is liberating.

    i get funny on doing things for money.....bottom line imperatives that cast a shadow on otherwise cool things,,,,like bees....bees are expensive.....bees make no economic sense ( at a less than commercial scale, investment ) but bees result in abundance. To subscribe to the economic rationale denies you bees.

    i find that accidentally making money works; it sort of de-curses your activities; i plan to accidentally make hundreds of thousands of dollars from sandalwood. In the mean time we eat sandalwood nuts and have more incense than the markets.
    i plan to accidentally make money out of thinning custom grown forests that were grown for reasons of hiding in.

    i deliberately try to make money by convincing the wife of the personal development in doing five and one FIFO,,,maybe drive a big truck....leave me to do all the accidental money making here,,,long time away, one day, maybe.

    or maybe the place will only make money when i sell it to a cashed up permie ( probably just off the mines ).......

    so kerrip,,,i have no advice after all.....just musings and mutterings....check out ' frugal farming ' for inspiration...(google it)
    and i'll pm the 'pearl'
    cheers,
    kimbo
     
  6. kerrip

    kerrip Junior Member

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    Well Kimbo, if we were independently wealthy or we can drag ourselves away to find outside employment that would still leave us enough time to enjoy our place, then your idea of just leaving it all go could be a wonderful thing. As it is we do intend on leaving quite a chunk of it to resume its return to the natural bush that it is trying to achieve. But we still need to pay some bills, soooooo...... we still need some ideas on ways to make some money.

    I don't want to build a B&B by the way, just in case that is something you are thinking of.

    Hey, I like the idea of the wattles not just for their pods, but for their other benefits, ie they trap nitrogen in the soil, their leaves can be used for fodder and they are relatively fast growing and seemingly easy to grow from seed.

    Anyway, what is your idea, come on tell me, the suspense is killing me. Please Please Please.

    Kerri.
     
  7. kimbo.parker

    kimbo.parker Junior Member

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    you see that little icon that when you put the mouse on it says notifications, or something....your profile page...then messages...there resides your pearl
     
  8. kimbo.parker

    kimbo.parker Junior Member

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    we get down to flavours don't we;

    me and half the poor bastards here were corrupted in the seventies by this social land mine called "The Good Life",,,,som poms on a 1/4 acre.........dam it brings a tear to my eye now.
    mod/god MA confesses to the same 'corruption'......they grew their own good food and sold the surplus.....

    and how many thousands of poor poor bastards have bravely strode this path.........tens of thousands.

    where are they?.....look arround you.......where are they......did they all become market gardeners, is that them down the markets on the weekend,,,,did they all turn into asians !??

    they aren't really there in the numbers you'd expect.....are they?

    growing some of your food is light years away from 'growing your food and selling the surplus'.....the latter is an entire lifestyle on its own.....at least a full time job for one member of the family,,,,,,given that from there...you are just so dam close to being aable to 'sell the slow food experience.........

    idiots who live in the cities and burbs and need you for good health....get those suckers to pay you to weed your carrots that you will then sell them.....
     
  9. kimbo.parker

    kimbo.parker Junior Member

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    ride the green train

    or go the whole hog, ride the green train....

    loosly (dam loosly),

    you become an incorporated body...you, partner and a kid (or two),,,,,,special interest group; stated interest " insert name of your place here"

    the inc body then manages the interests of the 'estate'......it buys some public liability insurance.

    the inc body then starts up an 'association',,,a members based club if you like....stated interest permaculture' ( at that point there are all these permite wanabes doing the work on your place ).........

    why, what is their incentive ??; this is where the art of bullshit comes into it....trust me,,,,they want it.
    in the association constitution which is really the inc. bodies constitution ( which you made up, edit, delete, make best for you at every annual general meeting of you the old man and the kids.

    these you can get 'off the shelf',,,,they exist now...........many such incs and assocs doing what you want are doing it right now under these constitutions which are full of pearls like;

    ' an association member has 'the right' to live on the 'estate'..........this means in accordance with by-laws of the locality '

    such that; a members right is something that translates to them camping over a few weekends a year,,,on designated areas, at specified discount rentals (cash), while they pay to weed your garden and engage in other workshops ( healthy eating, milking the cow, making a cheese, building a shed, creating a wet land...ad infinitum....

    there is a catch; if you are a recluse or a hermit; you will be severley stressed man.
     
  10. kimbo.parker

    kimbo.parker Junior Member

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    im sorry to be such a prick, i can't help it....just flows man.

    this wet lands on your joint kerrip; how many frustrated greenies do you reckon would volnteer to 'save it' for you.........if not pay you to let them save it.....call it a workshop....call up your local government conservation department,,,and get them to do it for you, or provide the material and still get paid.

    these dudes by one ticket....it is good for one day. Then the gate is shut, the wetland is re-veged, dug out, etc......it is just you and the migratory birds....all the hard work done by a whole lot of people now sitting in the burbs feeling connected......hhhaa hahahahahahahahah...

    the truth is i wouldn't do any of that.....my wetlands, by my own hand, my migratory birds, my re-veg, my seeds i stole myself.......and i wouldn't share shit....( see comes natural for me )

    regards,
    kimbo
     
  11. kimbo.parker

    kimbo.parker Junior Member

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    about making the place pay...

    this question has a major temporal element to it; when?

    if the answer is ASAP...........i balk and must handball to any number of better qualified people on this board.

    because;

    where the money is tomorrow, is not where it is today, and that is why it will be where it is tomorrow...

    (did you get that, cos i nearly lost it)........scarcity......economics is a system of scarcity and the task is to identify the scarcity today, that will be the money tomorrow....

    here is the secret; most people only do shit if there is a quid in it,,,,therefore anything uneconomical today becomes scarce in the future.........so if you really want to do this, back scarcity and do what makes no economic sense..........infact the more outlandishly uneconomical it is today, the more likely it will be scarce tomorrow....

    piece of piss

    come in spinner; what is really dumb economically today?....what are the things a small player shouldn't even consider on economic grounds?

    bees, carob, oak, wool, angora, mohair, grown in oz medicinals, spuds, carrots, chooks, eggs, vegies,
    add to that grapes and olives (but there is a boutique force at play here), figs, dairy......plenty of stuff.

    in fact most stuff open to the small holder,,,,lifestyle has its price.

    but to follow it through; if it is worth dick today, surely it will be scarce and worth it (tomorrow)....ha!

    there is the reality that anything easy is probably going to remain easy and by extension worth jack (money).

    if i had quid to punt on the future,,,i'd put my quid in more dams, tanks and catchment.....but i live in a bastard desert.
     
  12. eco4560

    eco4560 New Member

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    Now I'm worried. Kimbo is starting to make sense to me....
     
  13. kerrip

    kerrip Junior Member

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    okay guys

    does anyone have a crystal ball? I want to know what I can grow that will sell down the track...

    In the mean time what do you think of these ideas?

    - Mulching up the melaleuca on the property and selling it.

    - Leasing out a few hectares to people who want to experience a tree change before they commit to buying one,as in to people who want to store (live in) their caravan while growing their own chooks and veges.

    - growing stuff just to create a lot of compost for sale

    - propagating and selling on plants such as herbs, veges, etc.

    these are just a couple of ideas, and I want your opinions, please.

    Kerri.

    PS... I am positive that some of you have thought about this or are doing it in some way. Please share.
     
  14. ecodharmamark

    ecodharmamark Junior Member

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    G'day Kerri

    Welcome to the PRI Forum.

    What part of the' process' are you at? Is it too late to back out and think about purchasing something smaller in size and therefore less prone to blowing out in maintenance costs? For example: How far are you from services? Before trying to calculate how much money you are going to make, first you might want to consider how much you are going to have to spend. If, for example, you live 20 mins from your nearest service hub (postal services, daily/weekly fuel and other consumables, etc.), and you make the drive (approx 30 km) say twice per week ( a conservative figure), then already you are up for 120 kms of travel time/fuel requirements, even before you factor in fuel for the generator, etc.

    How do you propose to sell your 'surplus'? Are you situated in a position where people can drive by (per chance, or otherwise) your 'farm gate'? Or will you have to manufacture a logistical program to get your goods to 'market'? Lets just say, for example, you produce 10-tonnes of compost per week. This would equate to approx one semi-trailer load per-month. Do you ship this out in bulk, or allow it to trickle out via 6'x4' trailers and the backs of utilities?

    What do the land use zoning/overlays applicable to your piece of land have to say about your intended activities? At 147 acres (59.49 ha), you are above the average (and state-legislated) minimum for a dwelling in the Farming Zone (if this is indeed what your intended land is zoned), but what about your idea for 'campers'? Who is going to pay for their medical expenses should they ever receive and injury while 'feeding the chooks'? Have you factored in planning and building compliance fees into your equation, assuming you plan to go down the legal route (personally, I have no bias one way or the other).

    I do not ask the above (mostly rhetorical) questions in order to try and dissuade you from following your dream (for a discussion on sea/tree change 'dreams', see: Search for what's real), if anything I am full of enthusiasm for your ideas, and I am sure you are going into this venture with both eyes wide open. However, I do ask the above with a view to answering your own question, "How can I make it pay?". My simple advice is: First work out how much it is going to cost - both in monetary terms, and in terms of wider ecological values (embodied energy, etc), assuming the latter is an imperative for you, and considering that you are posting in a permaculture forum, I can only imagine that it is.

    I genuinely wish you all the best, and hope that your dreams come true. Please keep us up to date with your plans, and if their is anything I can do to help from a statutory planning perspective, please feel free to ask.

    Cheerio, Marko.
     
  15. springtide

    springtide Junior Member

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    If you are going to make money from your dream then you are going to have to sell a bit of it - wether you try to dig up a little more land than you had thought to for some organically certified veggies or make a few small roads through your property for a camping/caravan permaculture/farm retreat (if you do try to make it cater a little for kids as families like to connect together and most people just do the business retreat). If you are unsure i would try to keep the part time job down the road (stack shelves in the supermarket, whatever) just so you can afford to sell your dream the way you want to and not out of necessity of even desperation in a years time. This is what i am doing at the moment (family, kids, etc). I have a lot of admiration for people who go full cold turkey and a little awe for those who actually pull it of without too many problems, but i like to succeed and after a lot of thought this seemed a bit more fool-proof.
    Fingers crossed and good luck
     
  16. petershaw

    petershaw Junior Member

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    There are many things that can be successful with the right research, time and plenty of hard work, and some off property activities may be necessary.My property is not as large as yours and I'm not making a complete living from it, but, it does pay all my running costs such as Rates etc,and hopefully as the show grows it will bring in more income. Currently I run Pigs..and am extending into Turkeys. From time to time I have a couple of sheep and a steer or two for the freezer I too thought about Leasing some land out but you need insurance incase someone is injured.It won't be easy but I believe if one is commited then it can be done.Something that may be worth looking at is WWOOFing to assist with the work and as your Husband is a plumberthen no doubt he would be able to supplement your income with a day or two here and there.I'd be interested in your progress and wish you much success
     
  17. Grahame

    Grahame Senior Member

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    I think we need a treatise on this. I suppose someone has written one. But here is my initial take...

    I think you really need to get clear on what it is you are looking for from this venture and what it is you actually need. What are your fundamental needs, the things you simply cannot live without. Then you need to work out if your property can provide them for you. (For example I am often so baffled by all the traditional/conventional farmers around here who grow milk or wheat or something on a vast scale, but produce none of their own food!, they have hundreds of acres and don't even have a 4 foot square vegetable patch or a lemon tree. So they grow crops at a loss so that they can go into town and buy groceries with money they owe the bank!). I think most of us if we are honest will find that there is very little we need and a lot that we want or would like. The wants/would likes can sometimes be provided for by your own land. I reckon see if you can get the needs right first and then start to work on the bonuses

    What are you in it for really? What is the underlying psychological driver here? What is the truth within. For only when you know the truth the real truth within can you begin to find the physical manifestation of it. I think the reason so many tree-changers give up, become discontented again etc is that they never really understood why they were doing it in the first place.

    One of the issues for me is that I am looking for Mandala Town, a place where everyone thinks like me, where we can all work together and being a great community. And that is why I am in here in this forum and not next door at the old lady's place or down the road at the pub talking about the price of milk. Like Markus, I don't say things like this to discourage people from making the change, but I do want them to be realistic about this sort of lifestyle. There is an illusion that you can just buy a bit of land and move straight into paradise. :D

    Remember for it to be different, it really needs to be totally different or else it is just a variation...
     
  18. dianne

    dianne Junior Member

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    about leasing out some land.. if you take out the people factor this may be easyer. perhaps just use it for the gardens or for someone to run some animals and not actually have people stay. (not sure if this helps with the insurance thing)

    Have a look around your area, have a really good look around your farmers markets. mark off the list anything that alot of people are doing and try to find something that is not done or is only done by one or a few people. try to find a gap in the market and then fill it up. if this dosn't work maybe find a side road, eg. if everyone has the same old hybrid supermarket tomatoes, try the different heirloom types (different shapes, colours ect).

    also try something that has the added value. eg. you could sell bars of soap, but put them together with a luffa/washer and a small gift wrap and it is worth a lot more.

    if you try a stall, see if there is someone else around (friend/family member) who also has something to sell. perhaps if you have fruit/veg team up with someone crafty. that way a customer who dosn't wont veg may still come over to look at the craft and then see your veg and vice-vercer. the hardest part is to get someone to come up to your stall and have a good look.

    Jacky French has a good book about making money and working from home, hundred of ideas. have a look in a libary.
     
  19. kerrip

    kerrip Junior Member

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    Marko, you are the voice of reason and wow your thoughts make utopia seem hard to achieve. I take all you have said on board, but no I will not change my mind about buying the place. The only way that will happen is if something goes wrong between now and settlement. The farm is about 20 to 25 minutes from the city of Sale and as you say the fuel costs need to be factored into our expenses.

    Yes, I did think that the compost or mulch or whatever could trickle out the gate on the back of trailers or utes. As for farm gate sales of fuit and veges, I think being 500metres from the South Gippsland Highway, may be a tad too far for people to venture. I don't think anyone will see the sign on the gate, lol. So we will need to do the farmers markets if we go down that route. Actually I was thinking that that wouldn't be so bad, because even if I didn't make my fortune from the market, I would be out and about and mixing with people once or twice a month.

    The land is zoned farming and I am looking into insurance (just waiting for a phone call back). and planning and building fees are not an issue at the moment, given that there is already a residence. There is an area on our place that is called 'significant' by the authorities, It is wetlands. I'm not sure yet, what it means to have something that is 'significant'. Whether we will not be allowed to develop it or what. Not that we had any plans to upset it in any way, in fact the opposite, we want to enhance it.

    The thing is Marko, we won't be looking to make millions of dollars, but we would like to make enough to pay for some of the ongoing costs. My hubby is a licenced plumber and we are hoping that he may be able to find a bit of work here and there so we won't be totally dependent on the land for our income.

    Thank you for your thoughts.

    Kerri
     
  20. kerrip

    kerrip Junior Member

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    Springtide, good advice, thank you. Yes we will look to some outside employment to help us through. I really love the idea of sharing our place with others. It may take a while before I feel it is ready, but it is definately a goal. Where abouts are you located and how is your place going? Do you get many people visiting? Thank you very much for your well wishes.

    Petershaw, its great to hear from someone who is doing well and getting something back from their hard work. How many pigs are you running? I raised 6 pigs once but didn't do it again. I even ran a few turkies. We ate a few and sold the rest. We didn't do it again, mainly because I was too busy with the kids at the time, but I would like to get a couple of pigs and have another go at it. I would also love to get some turkies and some ducks and some geese along with the chooks. I would love to have a menagerie, lol. I'm sure that we could sell a few as we go to help pay for their feed. It makes me excited just thinking about it all. I can't wait. I'll definately keep you up to date with our progress and thank you for your input.

    Grahame, good post, thank you. Yes looking at our survival needs first is the plan. That is why we are planning on being as self sustaining as possible. When I last lived in the country, I knew many many people with farms larger than ours and many people who lived in the town. I don't remember more than one of the farmers actually growing vegetables. Yes, there was lots of milk and meat to be had, but not much else. There was a bit of a stigma about growing veges, in that you were seen to be not so affluent, if that makes sense. People would look at you strangely if you suggested growing your own. I'm sure times have changed. And at this stage of my life I couldn't care less what people were thinking about me. I want a new life and I intend on getting what I want. I like the way you think, in that if you can't find the community you are looking for, then look elsewhere, hence the internet. What a life saver to meet other like minded people even if it isn't face to face. Thank you for your input.

    Dianne, I would love to be able to share our land with people and not just gardens and animals. Not a lot of people mind you, but a few. I am looking into insurance and we'll see how that pans out. I love your tips for creating the right products for sale and not just doing the easier stuff, the same as every one else. I will check out the markets as you suggest to find out what is missing and I'll see if I can find that book you were talking about. I have one of Jackie French's books and it is great so I wouldn't mind finding more. Thank you for your thoughts.

    Kerri
     

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